Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Creating

We spent a wonderful weekend celebrating the holidays by creating with families on the east side of Los Angeles at the Echo Park Craft fair. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than by creating a work that will be a part of the holiday decoration for years to come. 

There really isn't a more pleasurable experience than watching families create together.

Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Soap Making

In our Potions class we made all kinds of spells to make a loved one recover from sickness, to bring love to us, to bring a lost pet home. We gathered shells, rose petals, sand and herbs that we grew in our back outdoor space in order to create these spells. A lot of these potions came from a archaic book of spells from Gypsies from the region that once was Bohemia. 

But I also wanted the kids to create a potion that could be used today in everyday life, something more tangible but no less magical because of the power of aroma therapy. So we made soap using herbs from our garden and essential oils. It was a simple but yet completely satisfying project for the kids. 


I ordered the soap base from Bramble Berry soap supplies. I got the goat's milk soap base which has this nice soft texture and white color. We then melted the soap and added it to our mold. I just used these vintage bread tins (it's just soap so easy to clean). You an use any kind of molds or ice cube trays for the shape. The kids then chopped up herbs with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to add to the soap along with a few drops of essential oils. It's important the herbs are dry. Otherwise the fresh herbs will sweat off moisture into the soap and give it a wet texture. 

The kids choose from lavender, lemon verbena, mint and cinnamon. It smelled amazing in the studio with all these aromas floating around in the air. The soap hardens in a few hours which is then ready to be sliced up into bars. It so beautiful how the herbs look distributed among the soap.  

We then packaged them up in paper sandwich bags from Smart and Final, added some twine and an herb sprig from the garden and a wooden snowflake for the final touch. The kids could not wait to give them to their parents and teachers for Hanukah or Christmas. 

Happy Holidays!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tree People

I know I have said this before but I just love spending the whole day with the kids during our camp days. Not just because we get to hang out and really get to know the children but also because I love the challenge of a seasonal curriculum. For this Thanksgiving Holiday camp we decided to build the curriculum around nature and natural materials. This is one of the many projects that we did in the day, Tree People.

Earlier in the day we went for a walk around the neighborhood to gather our materials, leaves sticks, peoples, flowers and seed pods were some of the things the kids found.  I added some feathers to their baskets of materials.We began by each kid receiving a piece of clay. I used Soldate 60 clay because it has a lot of sand in it so that it holds up really well even when dry.

The whimsical creatures began to emerge from the trees with the children's help, feather headdresses, pebble eyes, big noses, leaf tongues.

We all collected the same materials and the kids created such different creatures.  They each  have their own voices.

To my delight conversations began as well. Conversations about what other kids were doing with their materials. Which were better for eyes, leaves or flowers? Were they making a scary creature or a funny creatures? What is the name of each creature? They were running from tree to tree seeming to celebrate this freedom. 

When the creatures were finished they took on another life with the pedestrians walking by. Can you imagine walking down the street and seeing these beings sticking out of the trees? There were a lot of smiles and photographs taken.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kids Handmade

A few weekends ago Purple Twig was honored to be asked to participate in Kids Handmade in Los Angeles by offering art workshops for young makers and as it turns out, for the adult makers too.
Sheryl Cancellieri, who is also the creator of Eastside Handmade, has the gift of generously creating a craft fair for talented craftsman, but also bringing a community together. 

We love the challenge of creating an engaging project that is appropriate for a particular event. To celebrate fall and since we had just done some gorgeous leaf prints in our Parent and me classes, we decided to do leaf prints on patterned fabrics to make banners. That way each child (or person) could create a pattern with the leaves or just print away.  We chose to just offer gold and black paint to print with. That way the leafs became graphic images against the patterned fabrics.  A sure fire way to be successful in creating a beautiful banner. 

Jillian, one of my fantastic teachers had a great time getting her hands dirty with all the young makers. To our delight adults and children a like were getting in on the making action. We had entire families with ages 4- 42 each making leaf prints to frame together as a family project. We believe that families all creating together is a great way to show respect for each other and to create confidence in the child. 

It was such an incredibly rewarding day!!!

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Leaf Printing

One of the many things I love about our ongoing classes is that our projects constantly revolve reflecting and celebrating the season. This week in our parent and child classes we made leaf prints to celebrate fall. We printed on our watercolor paintings we made the week before. The combination of the vivacious and free watercolor and the graphic leaves is so well suited for each other. 

I gave the kids baskets after reading a story about fall and the falling of leaves. Then the parents, children and I set out to find leaves that had fallen to the ground. We looked at the different colors, the different shapes and different sizes of the leaves. It was a bit like a treasure hunt. 

We do a lot of printmaking projects with the kids so I have plexi-glass plates on hand to use as the inking plates, but you can use plastic placemats because the Blick printing ink is completely washable. You can also get the brayers (rollers) at Blick Art. 

The rolling of ink on the ink plates is the fun part for this age. They love the way it feels and and the way is sounds.  I used black and gold ink for this project so that the beautiful watercolor paintings wouldn't get muddied with all the different colors. The black is so wonderfully graphic against the soft pinks and greens of the watercolor paintings.

After rolling the ink onto the brayer, the parents then helped the kids roll the ink onto a leaf using the brayer. The print won't work if you just place the leaf onto the inking plate. The ink needs to be rolled on. 

Then the leaf gets placed face down onto the watercolor painting and a clean brayer is used to roll the leaf down which will then leave a clear print where you can see the veins and shape of the leaf. 

They can do as many different leaves as they want.

Or do just one like this little guy did. After the one leaf he wanted to spend the rest of his time rolling the ink on the inking plate. The minimalism works beautifully. 

You are always welcome to leave any questions or comments. I am happy to answer them.

Happy Fall!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Sukkot

 Here in Los Angeles it's been so hot that a wish for shorter days and cooler temperatures is on all our minds.  A nice way to celebrate ( long for ) the coming fall is to honor Sukkot and building a sukkah with the kids at the Waverly school in Pasadena.  We built one last year as well . Sharing a meal (snack) with friends in a beautiful setting is always a good way to celebrate. 

This year the 1st and 2nd grade class created watercolor paintings of fruits and vegetables, which I turned into a garland to decorate the sukkah. 

They happily ate apples, grapes and pumpkins seeds turned into a salad. 

Happy Sukkot!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Paper

A few weeks ago we did a paper making workshop with children ages 4-7. They thought it was really funny that we were making paper from paper. Why bother? But just look at how beautiful and rustic these papers are. They are so textured and thick. We even added seeds to some of the paper so all you have to do is plant it in a pot of soil, water and the paper acts as fertilizer for the seeds. You could write a wish on the paper before planting or a message to a friend and let them plant it to watch it flower. 

In order to make paper you need 
- frames (I bought small 5X7 frames from a thrift store for a $1 a piece). 
- screens ( from your local hardware store)
- felt sheets a bit bigger than your screen size
- used paper ( the inks or drawings on the paper can add color flecks to the paper)
- seeds
- a large tub
- a blending device

I cut the screen the size of the frames and stapled the screen to the frame. That's it. We are now ready for the kids to arrive and ready to make paper. 

Fill the tub with water. Rip up the recycled or used paper. We used white, red and orange paper for one tub and white green and blue paper for the other tub. Pulverize the paper in the blender with some hot water, then pour into the tub of water. 

You just drop the screened frame into the water and lift out. Here is what you get.

A beautiful thick paper.

Sprinkle some seeds. We chose between cat grass, California poppies, corn flowers and lavender. 
Turn the screen over immediately onto the felt and shake it off. The paper dries directly on the felt. 

What a fun afternoon!